If you have nowhere else to turn because your debts are completely overwhelming, it may be time to consider bankruptcy protection
Let’s face it, the economy is still rocky, but we still have to pay the bills. No one else will pay them for us, although that would be great if they did. These days there are a lot of Americans living from paycheck to paycheck and using credit cards to fill in the gaps when they do not have cash.
That kind of behavior, while totally understandable, will land them in financial hot water. The cycle of only paying the minimum on the cards continues, but so do the purchases, and one day the bill is staggering enough to make the person realize there is no way they can keep living like that.
Do you have high credit card debt, creditors calling you and unpaid medical bills and just not enough cash to pay any of it in full? Are you being harassed by creditors, receiving letters in the mail, or getting a notice of garnishment at work? If you are, it is time to talk to a qualified and experienced Cedar Rapids bankruptcy lawyer.
Filing Chapter 7 will stop the creditors cold and discharge certain types of unsecured debt. Chapter 13 may stop a foreclosure and allow you to set up a repayment plan. Those are just the highlights of what filing for bankruptcy protection may offer you. Typically, which chapter you elect to file under has to do with your circumstances when you file. No two cases are alike and your Iowa bankruptcy lawyer can walk you through the steps you need to confront to start a new financial life.
At one time, you could just file for bankruptcy and be done with it. But now tougher laws have made the process more difficult in order to prevent people from defrauding the system. Generally speaking, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy route is the least expensive and quickest way to file, and ideal for those with a limited income and not much to protect in the way of assets. You may file under this Chapter if you are:
– An individual
– A married couple
– A partnership
– A corporation
In a Chapter 7 proceeding, the court-appointed trustee identifies non-exempt assets and liquidates them to pay your creditors. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as there is the ability to keep secured property if you can negotiate a repayment plan with creditors. Make it a point to ask your Cedar Rapids bankruptcy attorney how this chapter may affect your situation.
If you do not meet the requirements to file Chapter 7, there is always Chapter 13 as an option. This chapter lets you:
– Keep your assets
– Keep your home
– Keep your possessions
– Stop creditors from calling
Lets you pay back a portion or all of your debts based on a restructured debt repayment plan over a three to five year period.
In a Chapter 13 proceeding, trustees are assigned to oversee the collection of your debt repayments and are also responsible for distributing those payments to the creditors.
– You need to be aware that not all of your debts can be discharged under either chapter. To find out what you cannot discharge, have this conversation with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. The highlights of what you cannot discharge are:
– Spousal and child support
– Debts as a result of fraud/embezzlement
– Debts owed on tax advantage retirement plans
– Debts not included in your debt repayment plan
– Certain taxes
– Debts for maliciously causing injury to another individual or property
– Personal debts for any damage caused if DUI